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Red Right Hand
aka: Right Red Hand

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Do we really need to tell you that this guy's not the hero?

"What monstrosities would walk the streets, were some people's faces as unfinished as their minds."
Eric Hoffer, "Reflections on the Human Condition" (1973)

There are heroes and then there are villains. And the audience needs to know which is which, even before anyone gets to Kick the Dog or Pet the Dog or does anything involving the metaphorical dog. The hero, in order to be properly heroic, will be handsome, possibly to a sickening degree. The villain may be good-looking as well, but if they are, they will often have some type of physical defect or tip-off to their monstrous nature.

People sympathize less with others who have a physical defect. This is in essence a deliberate trip to the Uncanny Valley, using the minor defect to provoke a negative audience response.

It's often a Mark of the Supernatural, resulting in a Glamour Failure that can be used to spot a creature's true nature even if it's a Voluntary Shapeshifter. Monstrous examples take the form of a Mark of the Beast, often including Fangs Are Evil, Femme Fatalons, and/or Horns of Villainy.


However, sometimes the trope is deconstructed to show that the character didn't start out evil but became evil because of being bullied or mocked for the deformity in question.

The phrase originally comes from Horace, a reference to Jupiter's wrath, Milton's translation of the term "rubente dextra" in Horace's Ode i.2,2-3. The famous work Paradise Lost, written by English Renaissance icon John Milton, re-popularized the phrase for modern English-speaking audiences.

The quote in Paradise Lost (Book II, 170-174) is: "What if the breath that kindled those grim fires, / Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold rage, / And plunge us in the flames; or from above / Should intermitted vengeance arm again / His red right hand to plague us?".

Related to Good Scars, Evil Scars, Scary Shiny Glasses, and Hypnotic Eyes. Since Evil Is Cool, a Red Right Hand may occasionally overlap with Fashionable Asymmetry. If the deformity also comes with labored breathing or a cough, it's Vader Breath. If this appearance carries discolored veins, it's Tainted Veins. A White-Haired Pretty Boy, the undeathly pale and an Evil Albino will typically fall under this category. Contrast The Grotesque, whose outer deformity hides inner goodness, although Grotesques may occasionally be given a Red Right Hand, usually symbolic of their struggle against inner evil or madness. Often results when someone Came Back Wrong. Contrast with Hidden Evil.


Not to be confused with the symbol of Ulster, A Date with Rosie Palms or the red left hand (and arm) given to C-3PO in The Force Awakens. For the more blatant examples, see Obviously Evil.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk:
    • Most of the villains have something of the sort, even if they don't start as demons. Father Mozgus, for example, has an unnaturally flat face (revealed to be the result of him slamming his face into the ground two hundred times every day during his daily prayers). Guts sometimes marks his enemies by looking for this sort of trait.
    • The Godhand, the Big Bad Duumvirate of Berserk, is a very literal case. The podium that they present themselves to would-be sacrifices from is a red right hand. Genius, you say?
    • All of the Apostles have features that seem 'off' even in their human forms. For example, the unnamed female apostle seen with Guts at the beginning of the series has cold dead eyes.
  • Ciel Phantomhive of Black Butler wears an eyepatch to obscure the fact his right eye is a pale purple color and has a pentagram etched into it; this is the physical representation of his pact with Sebastian. Making things worse is that it lights up when he's giving Sebastian a direct order.
  • Haji of Blood+ is a subversion. Although he is the only chiropteran to have a permanent, visible indication of his inhuman nature - a literal red right hand with monstrous claws - he is unequivocally a good guy, and the only chevalier in the series who never fully transforms into a monstrous chiropteran combat form, instead limiting himself to transforming his other hand and growing batlike wings.
  • You Higuri's manga Cantarella features a possessed Cesare Borgia with a color-vague demonic arm, which eventually had to be lopped off to stop him from becoming an avatar of Satan. Mind you, while the explanation is textbook Red Right Hand, the arm subplot seems to have been included entirely so that Cesare's faithful servant had an excuse to tie him to the bed.
  • D.Gray-Man:
    • The Noah look normal in human form. In Noah form, they have a line of cross-shaped marks across their foreheads.
    • While only Allen can see it, all Akuma are powered by a bound human soul protruding from their bodies.
    • Played with towards Allen, whose left arm is twisted and red, with a big cross on the back of his hand and occasionally a will of its own. His parents abandoned him because it was so freaky. Not only is he a wonderful person, but the scary arm is also actually a holy weapon for destroying Akuma. His other 'mark' is his funny-looking cursed right eye, which is a mark of sin but also one of his messianic attributes, since it causes him suffering and keeps him from ever forgetting there are innocent souls within the Akuma who he wants to save.
  • In Darker Than Black, it's fairly obvious that we shouldn't trust Wei or Maki, even though a big deal isn't made about it. More explicitly, the Red Eyes, Take Warning effect that accompanies a contractor using their powers is definitely a bad sign. More literally, the leader of The Syndicate turns out to have two prosthetic hands. In case the red glowing eyes of a contractor weren't enough of a hint that it's about to hit the fan, they also emit synchrotron radiation when activating their powers. This is not something that normal humans are supposed to do.
  • Some of the less thinky Detective Conan episodes use this trope to show who amongst them is the killer, like the sinister-looking head librarian who exudes 'evil boss' vibes from the moment he appears on-screen in the book drug trafficking episode.
  • A villain with a literal Red Right Hand is Devimon, the first Big Bad of Digimon Adventure. It's far from the only characteristic that identifies him as evil.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Scar has a Tattooed Right Hand, which was a sign of his early evilness.
    • The Homunculi all have their Ouroboros tattoos, as well. The Fuhrer, King Bradley, covers his with an Eyepatch of Power.
    • As well as Ed's entire right arm, though he's the series hero and isn't evil at all. It does show, however, that he committed what many believe to be one of the greatest sins in attempting human transmutation. Playing God and all.
  • An Invoked Trope in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Ghoda, The Chessmaster Big Bad of 2nd Gig, had his face badly mutilated in an accident. Having served for years as a highly competent yet anonymous bureaucrat, he enjoys his distinctive look and refuses to have it corrected by surgery. Also, he seems to believe that the scarring of his face also caused a change to his Ghost, turning him from a boring bureaucrat dreaming of greatness into a bona fide Magnificent Bastard.
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin:
  • In The Hating Girl, the Mad Bomber who's been targeting schools is revealed to have a horn growing out of the top of his head.
  • In Hell Teacher Nube, Nube's left hand is actually a sealed Oni, Baki, which replaces the left hand he lost fighting said Oni. Most of the time, it looks like his regular hand wearing a black leather glove; when his students are threatened by spectral horrors, he will reveal it as a monstrously large, dark red hand with visible tendons and black claws. However, he constantly seeks a way to seal it permanently, as only the influence of his childhood teacher prevents the Oni from taking over his entire body.
  • Hellsing:
    • The evil Nazi Doctor known only as the Doctor who has a sixth finger. However, it's not very noticeable unless you pay much attention to his hands.
    • Played with when Seras gains her shadow-arm.
    • Zorin Blitz's right eye is almost completely black and in a permanent squint, until she uses her powers, while the other is bright green and is able to move around normally.
    • The Anime has Incognito, a cone-headed vampire with a massive left eye.
  • InuYasha has Naraku, who can shapeshift his entire body, except for the spider-shaped scar on his back that he can't ever permanently get rid of, even by cutting it off.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Dio Brando from the first and third chapters has three prominent moles on his left ear, which some characters consider a mark of the devil. After becoming a vampire, his teeth and nails become very long and sharp, and upon drinking Joseph Joestar's blood and reaching his full power, his irises turn red and his lips become an unnatural shade of green.
    • In part three, J. Geil and his mother, Enya Geil, figure as fairly prominent villains. Both of them are distinct in having two right hands.
    • The main villain of part four, Yoshikage Kira, has fingernails that grow unnaturally fast when he's feeling the need to kill.
    • Leaky-Eye Luca, a minor antagonist in part 5, earned his name from an injury of his right eye that constantly causes it to tear up.
  • Towa Kannagi from Mermaid Saga is a white-haired girl that always keeps her right hand heavily bandaged. What's under there isn't so much a hand as it is a mottled, pulsating claw she received after drinking mermaid's blood. The constant physical pain it leaves her in (not to mention her forced isolation because of it) has left her more than a little deranged.
  • Naruto:
    • Sora, in an arc of Shippuden, has a demonic-looking right hand. He wasn't necessarily evil, just a Jerkass who also happens to be a vessel for some of the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra that has been cultivated and injected into Sora by the real villain.
    • When Naruto tries to defeat the Kyuubi on his own, he has his former inner hatred shoved into his face, and then Naruto's left eye transforms into that of his inner evil counterpart. On the outside, he develops a two-tailed fox cloak on the right side and a two-tailed V2 cloak on his left. note 
  • When not wearing his gloves, Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion has what looks like a fetus fused unto his hand. He has his reasons...
  • Pre-Heel–Face Turn Mewtwo from Pokémon: The First Movie with a tube that goes from the top of his spine to the back of his skull.
  • Ryo Takatsuki of Project ARMS has a literal Red Right Hand, which is a nanite-based AI prosthetic known as the Jabberwock. Like that's gonna work out well. When the hand starts spreading over the rest of the body,
  • All Puella Magi have a colored emblem on their middle fingernail.
  • Middle-level Mazoku (demons) from the Slayers universe sometimes try to take human form, but it is always... off. Take Kanzel and Mazenda from NEXT: the former has unnatural skin and hair color, and the latter is ludicrously ignorant of human fashion, appearing to wear a glaringly anachronistic outfit. Mazoku Generals, Priests and Lords, however, are powerful enough to pull off a perfect imitation of human form.
  • Ralph Werec in Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry is a creepy albino with a scar across his eye, which turns pink when he's angry. However, when he was sane, his skin was less pale, his hair was blond and more meticulously hair-gelled, and he didn't have the scar.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, some Ghouls develop blackened nails. The majority are members of Aogiri Tree, while Kaneki develops them along with white hair after being tortured and forced to embrace a more ruthless nature.
    • The sequel plays with this as well. Having lost his memories and become more innocent again, Sasaki/Kaneki has lost the black nails that marked him as a Ghoul. On the other hand, after being Reforged into a Minion, Takizawa now has black nails and lips, adding to his inhuman appearance.
    • Another sequel example: The awakened, morally ambiguous Kaneki/Sasaki now sports a literal red right arm, covered in snakelike scales similar to his kagune. He normally hides it under a red glove.
  • The titular Vampire Hunter D has a peculiar left hand. Embedded into his left palm is a parasitic, sentient face capable of holding conversations with D: mostly about not holding up the image of a vampire. It rather accentuates D's angst: half-human, half-vampire, yet not really comfortable with either race. Beyond the snark, though, it has a few minor capabilities of its own and will show genuine concern if D gets in real trouble.
  • Red Left Hand in the case of Yubel from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.

    Comic Books 
  • Aubry Jason, a.k.a. Lord Sovereign from Astro City, has a distinctive scar down the right side of his face. It is what leads Royal Williams to identify him as his parents' killer.
  • Batman's rogue's gallery has three big examples of this.
    • The Joker is often depicted with a permanent freaky grin on his chalk-white face, The Penguin sometimes has a distinctly birdlike appearance (sometimes including flippers for hands), and Two-Face has half of his face horribly scarred by acid.
    • Another example is Killer Croc, and he becomes more and more of an example as time goes on. When he first appeared, he looked like a normal person, save for green scales covering his body. The official story is that he has a bizarre version of atavism, which gets worse as time goes on, making him look more and more reptilian. Things eventually got better for Croc when he learned that he was very slowly turning into an actual crocodile - mentally as well as physically — and found himself welcomed by Swamp Thing to live as a reptile in the Louisiana swamps. There he would be able to live among his own kind — and if people still did make fun of him for his appearance, over time he'd become too mindless to care. But it is doubtful that Croc's Heel–Face Turn was permanent, or if he never decided to return to Gotham City.
    • Harley Quinn, in the New 52 and DC Rebirth, has fully, permanently bleached skin and hair, courtesy of the Joker. But it's a suitably mild red right hand for an increasingly sympathetic antiheroine- while it means Harley is always perched on the edge of the Uncanny Valley, she still reads as an attractive woman, not a Monster Clown like the Joker himself.
    • Similarly, Poison Ivy has a green, vinelike pattern on her skin, but as she's far less of a villain in these continuities it does nothing to disfigure her.
  • The nevermind of Birthright infects a voluntary host to offer strength and give advice on how to serve God-King Lore. The infection manifests as a grotesque mark that progresses from an ugly red scar to full-on reshaping.
  • In Camelot 3000, Morgan finds that Power Gives You Seriously Nasty Pustules.
  • DC Comics' Heroic Fantasy hero Claw the Unconquered had a literal demonic hand, hidden under a red glove to reduce its evil influence on him.
  • Conan the Barbarian: Conan's ally Fafnir Hellhand twice lost his arm, and twice had it replaced with a demonic substitute that had a will of its own.
  • Justified example in Creature Tech. Jameson exchanged his hand for that of the demon Hellcat so he could gain demonic powers, and to prevent his soul from being taken to Hell when he died. When Dr. Ong cuts off Jameson's hand, the demons of Hell show up for Jameson's soul.
  • Doctor Doom, whose face is so horribly scarred that it's never shown. According to Reed Richards, the scar on his face was only slightly superficial. But Von Doom's ego was so great, that even the slightest imperfection was enough to vow vengeance on Richards. Later, upon receiving his armor from Tibetan mystics, he didn't even wait until the metal had cooled before trying on the mask, which is the true cause of his now hideous deformity.
    • Doom in Ultimate Fantastic Four was transformed in the same experiment as the Fantastic Four, and ended up with a body made entirely of metal looking just like his classic look, with the exception of goat legs. Because, according to Warren Ellis, he's the devil.
  • In Jason Thompson's graphic novel adaptation of Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Nyarlathotep's Phaoronic avatar has Ankh-shaped irises.
  • A prominent character in the Hellblazer series (particularly in the trade paperback, "The Red Right Hand") develops a literal red right hand (occasionally drawn as his left hand) after murdering his girlfriend and recklessly causing the terrible demise of several innocent people, including children, infants, and young parents. The hand becomes redder and darker in accordance with changes to his character as the story progresses.
  • While Hellboy is a red-skinned, twin-horned demon to begin with, he's actually fairly human-looking and easy on the eyes for the most part. With, of course, the notable exception of (yes) his right hand and forearm, which are thrice as big as his human-standard left, only has three fingers and a thumb, and is made entirely of a demonic, totally indestructible mineral, which raises the question of where the eldritch symbols carved into it came from. It's eventually revealed that the stone arm is the literal hand of the angel who created this verse's world-ending-monster-equivalent and is thus the means by which Hellboy is prophesized to trigger the apocalypse.
  • In reflection of his sin, Judas from Judas (2017) wakes up in Hell wearing a necklace made from the silver coins he was paid in for his betrayal, resembling the noose he used to take his own life.
  • One The Legend of Zelda comic book has Link's hand turn red when he takes the Triforce of Power. Sure enough, he soon discovers that With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
    • Another one from Nintendo Power has his hand turn red, burnt/furry and clawed when he attempts to reach through a portal to the Blessed Realm. It's a sign he's not worthy to enter without devolving into a beast.
  • New Mutants member Josh Foley aka Elixir was a golden-skinned mutant whose Omega-level power over biology granted him incredible healing abilities. When he used those powers to kill a villain who orchestrated his girlfriend's assassination his skin turned black and he entered a catatonic state. He got better eventually, but ever since his golden skin is marred by a splotch of darkness that keeps moving around his body — a permanent reminder that he killed someone and that he can kill again.
  • In Planetary, John Stone has a literal red right hand, the "Devil's Paw," hidden under artificial skin, with which he battles Jakita Wagner. "I hacked it off of someone tougher than you twenty years ago. It had killed 180 people before I laid eyes on it."
    • Which is itself a shout-out to longtime Nick Fury foe and HYDRA leader Baron Strucker and the similarly-named literal red right hand,the "Satan Claw".
  • Herr Starr, the Big Bad of Garth Ennis' Preacher, starts with a nonfunctional right eye and five scar lines around it. As the series goes on, the "redness" only increases: He gets his left ear shot off, a nasty (and phallic) line is cut into his scalp, he loses his right lower leg to cannibals and his penis gets bitten off by a dog. Crosses the Line Twice when he says "My cock is in the bitch's mouth. And not in a good way."
  • The Sandman:
    • Lucifer had an aura of Grecian beauty, but his hair kept forming little horn-shapes. His resemblance to David Bowie upped the creepiness level yet further.
    • The Corinthian always wore sunglasses because instead of eyes he had two tiny mouths with actual teeth, which he used to eat the eyes of his victims to learn anything they had seen.
  • Hideaki's right-hand man from Silent Dragon has a pair of cybernetic arms that are designed to look reptilian and dragonlike.
  • In CrossGen comic Sojourn, Mordath's evil nature warped the Sigil he received, so instead of a red-and-yellow yin-yang symbol, it was entirely red. Receiving the Sigil in the first place brought him Back from the Dead, so he's also a zombie.
  • Superman: Yes, Lex Luthor, yes, mechanical right hand. Ironically enough, from his kryptonite ring (of hate). Also, Bald of Evil.
  • The French comic book Le vagabond des limbes once featured this — Axle, the hero, spends most of the series looking for Chimeer, a mysterious woman that is obviously in love with him, and upon failure to have God himself locate her Axle puts him to the task of creating her. The resulting bloody pile of randomly fused red flesh seems to be the source of the hero's truly memorable horrified stare... but no! There is the unmistakable arm and voice of Chimeer coming out of it, and her arm is the only thing not red and horrible! This is obviously a subversion as the newly created "Chimeer" is genuinely in love with Axle and only means well...
  • Watchmen: Former stage magician turned criminal mastermind Moloch has pointed, satanic ears. He Looks Like Orlok.
    • Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias has shades of this in Before Watchmen, where he is rendered as very nearly The Blank, with inhumanly bright blue eyes that almost look like they're glowing. It is, however, completely averted in Watchmen proper, where he is an emphatically normal-looking human being.
  • In X-Men Reverend Stryker finds the remains of a Sentinel from the future and uses the robot's glowing PINK hand as a glove and an apparent weapon. He dies before he gets to use it. Just goes to show you need to get a real red hand. No one respects you with a pink one.
  • X-Wing Series:
    • The pirate-turned-Imperial officer who caused the deaths of Wedge Antilles' parents, Loka Hask, had a Corellian limpet, basically a sort of eyeless octopus, latch on to his face when Wedge blew up his ship. He never has it removed, and it just sits there covering one eye and ear, appendages going into his nose and mouth. Even if it had devoured a good amount of his face, you'd think he'd just have it cybernetically rebuilt, but no. No one ever mentions it. It's just there as a visual aid.
    • Delak Krennel, who later featured in the novels, had a literal prosthetic right hand that glowed red. Card-Carrying Villain to the core.
    • Captain Semtin has obvious, creepy prosthetic eyeballs and mechanical thingies in his ears. He abandons some of his soldiers on Ryloth, which has local rules that offworlders with no influence or transportation get sold into slavery. The soldiers promptly switch sides.

    Comic Strips 
  • In the Dick Tracy strips, the most famous villains are the grotesque ones and their hideousness reflects the fact that almost all of them are unrepentant murderous scum.

    Fan Works 
  • Misunderstandings: Big Top ends up with a glass eye, after Peter whipped him in the face.
  • Witches in the afterlife of Resonance Days look mostly human, but retain traits of their original form. Most of the time, it's a fairly minimal detail - Arzt has syringes instead of fingers, Nie has a heart tattoo on her chest, Charlotte has a monkeylike tail. Others, however, head more into Cute Monster Girl territory, most famously Oktavia, who retains her witch form's lower body.

    Films — Animation 
  • 2007's Beowulf gives Grendel's Mother the power to assume the pleasing form of Angelina Jolie, but she has a prehensile and whiplike ponytail, as well as humorously high-heeled feet.
  • In A Christmas Story, local bully Scut Farkus has yellow eyes; his toady, Grover Dill, has green teeth.
    Ralphie as Adult: There he stood, between us and the alley: Scut Farkus, staring out at us with his yellow eyes. He had yellow eyes! So help me, God! Yellow eyes!
  • In Coraline, everyone in the Other World appears to be more attractive than their real-world counterparts with the exception of those goddamn button eyes.
  • Meowthra of The Lego Ninjago Movie is the incredibly destructive force (read: a real cat wandering around a world where everything is sized for Lego minifigs), and it's described as a "six-toed terror" and is played by a pair of polydactyl cats.
  • The Lion King: Scar is the only lion in the pride with a different color scheme and to have his claws bared all the time, and of course, he has a scar over one eye. Also, in the German version of "Be Prepared", he sings "Meine Zähne sind blank wie mein Neid", which translates as "My teeth are uncovered like my envy".
  • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride:
    • Subverted with the protagonist Kovu (who has more or less the same color scheme as Scar, and even acquires a scar over his eye about halfway through the movie).
    • Played it straight with the other outsiders, most notably Zira (who has a vertical stripe on her head and an Ear Notch). Before the end battle, the outsider lionesses all walk through mud, just so we (and maybe they themselves) can tell them apart from their prideland counterparts in the heat of the battle. By the time they realize there's really not all that much of a difference between the two groups, and reunite, they're all clean again, though their distinguishing drawing style remains.
  • In Mulan, the Huns have gray skin and yellow eyes.
  • In Toy Story 3, the Baby's lazy eye is an early indicator that it and the daycare as a whole are not as wholesome as they appear to be.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Used with great gusto in 300, in which Sparta's Corrupt Church, the traitor Ephialtes, and much of the Persian empire are monstrous or deformed people. This is generally explained as the result of an Unreliable Narrator who is delivering propaganda to Spartan soldiers before a battle. It's an Enforced Trope in Ephialtes's case since he betrays the Spartans because their society has rejected him on account of his appearance.
  • Captain America (1990): Red Skull has a prosthetic hand, but had undergone plastic surgery to get rid of his skull-face.
  • In Contagion, Krumweide (played by Jude Law) is given crooked teeth to foreshadow the revelation that he's a crook and a liar. His name also helps.
  • In Crime Doctor, Emilio's right hand is twisted into a claw, which can be seen when opens the car door to throw Morgan out.
  • In Cube Zero, Jax has a cybernetic implant fitted where his right eye used to be. It's never shown or explained what abilities it gives him; it's only ever used to identify him as a villain and explain his hatred for machines via a Noodle Incident.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
  • Django Unchained has Calvin Candie, a wicked slave owner, whose rampant Sweet Tooth in a time when dental care was hard to find has left him with black, rotten teeth.
  • Doctor Strangelove: His right hand tried to strangle him and would compulsively do a Nazi salute. Unusually for this trope, this is played entirely for comedy.
  • Azrael, the secondary villain in Dogma, has little tiny horns. Though this is less a physical defect and more that he's literally a demon.
  • In Dune, Baron Harkonnen has giant facial pustules. This was invented for the film, though both book and film versions of the Baron are morbidly obese. The Baron's weight in a prequel novel is attributed to a sexually-transmitted disease he contracted from the Reverend Mother after he raped her, and he later pretended to have gotten fat due to intentional over-indulgence so as not to appear to be a weak victim.
  • Enter the Dragon has two examples: Mr. Han is missing one hand and likes to replace it with various killer prosthetics (such as a literal iron hand or the claws that inflicted the iconic scratch mark injuries on Bruce Lee's character). His Dragon, O'Hara, also has a jagged scar on his face that we soon discover was inflicted by Lee's father in an attempt to stop O'Hara from raping Lee's sister.
  • Escape from New York: The Duke of New York (played by Isaac Hayes) has a twitch in his right eye.
  • In Flash Gordon, Ming's Dragon Klytus wears a golden gauntlet on his right arm, making it all the more noticeable that it seems to be paralysed, possibly in a Shout-Out to Richard III.
  • Gremlins and its sequel feature this by way of showing some pre-Gremlin mogwai having extra tufts of hair: Stripe and Mohawk.
  • In Home Alone Harry has a shining gold tooth that practically screams he's a criminal. He gets it knocked out near the end, but over the course of the movie literally gets his right hand burned when grabbing a heated doorknob, which leaves a permanent burn pattern on his hand and stays that way in the sequel, Lost in New York.
  • In John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness (1995), readers of the books of hack horror writer Sutter Cane go insane and develop strange physical afflictions, like a second pupil in their iris, or bleeding from their eyes. And berserk homicidal tendencies, of course. Over time, these minor afflictions develop into serious bodily mutations- including tentacles, distended jaws, and reversible joints.
  • Kinda in Inglourious Basterds with Aldo marking Nazi soldiers with a Swastika on their foreheads so that everyone will know what they did even when they are out of uniform.
  • In It's a Wonderful Life, Good is Jimmy Stewart. Evil is bald and in a wheelchair.
  • The Big Bad of Jack Reacher is a former Gulag prisoner who's blind in one eye and missing fingers on each hand.
  • This trope may as well be called "Bond Villain Deformity", as it's one of the defining tropes of the series. It is a shtick of many James Bond villains, both books and films:
    • Dr. No has mechanical hands.
    • Emilio Largo has an eyepatch.
    • Ernst Stavro Blofeld (in his first onscreen appearance, at least) has a massive facial scar. (You Only Live Twice) In his second appearance, he has lopped off his earlobes to impersonate a Count. (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) And, in his final appearance, he's not only bald but is permanently crippled and wears a neck brace, presumably he obtained from the exploding oil rig at the end of Diamonds Are Forever. (For Your Eyes Only)
    • Live and Let Die: Tee-Hee has a mechanical arm.
    • The Man with the Golden Gun: Scaramanga's superfluous third nipple.
    • The Spy Who Loved Me: Karl Stromberg has webbed feet and fingers.
    • Moonraker: Jaws has metal teeth. In the original novel, Hugo Drax had facial scars stemming from a German attack during WWII.
    • GoldenEye: Alec Trevelyan uses the nickname "Janus" because of scars covering half of his face.
    • The World is Not Enough: Renard has a scar on his forehead from a bullet's entry wound. Renard's accomplice, Elektra King, has a mutilated earlobe which she hides behind a large earring.
    • Zao from Die Another Day has diamonds seared to his face. More pointedly, his skin is bleached and his hair has fallen out as a side effect of incomplete gene therapy. Meanwhile, Gustav Graves is an insomniac. He must spend one hour per day in a REM device to avoid going mad.
    • Casino Royale (2006): Le Chiffre's left eye weeps blood. (Nothing sinister, though). In the opening of said film, Bond chases down a bombmaker (Mollaka) with chemical burns on the right side of his head.
    • Quantum of Solace: The film doesn't "officially" have one, but a number of reviewers noted that Dominic Greene's tendency to go bug-eyed worked as a low-key version of the traditional Bond trope. Greene's right-hand man Elvis wears a bowl-cut Dodgy Toupee and later on, a neckbrace after he tripped down a flight of stairs.
    • Skyfall: Raoul Silva wears a prosthetic to hide the massive cavity inside his head as a result of part of his skull being rotted away by a defective cyanide capsule. This is semi-deconstructed by the fact that he only incurred such injury due to his willingness to die for M when he was still an MI-6 agent himself, and Not So Different from Bond.
    • Spectre: Franz Oberhauser ends up with Blofeld's iconic scarred eye by the end of the film, courtesy of Bond's exploding watch. Mr. Hinx has metallic fingernails.
  • The Indominus Rex from Jurassic World, aside from being an Evil Albino, is also distinctive from the other "normal" dinosaurs with her lack of lips, exposing her gnarly teeth, as well as having a very skeletal-looking head with the fenestrae of her skull visible even from the surface.
  • The Indoraptor from the sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom shares many of these traits (though he's melanistic instead of albino), plus the additional quirk of being semi-quadrupedal, unlike any real carnivorous dinosaur, which just adds to the uncanny factor.
  • Frank D'Amico in Kick-Ass has an unusual scar on his forehead that looks like a cross between a spiral and parentheses that were formed because he rests his head on the tip of his gun.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Gazelle has a pair of incredibly sharp blades as prosthetic legs.
  • The Swedish film En kvinnas ansikte ("A Woman's Face," starring Ingrid Bergman) and its American remake (starring Joan Crawford) deal with a woman whose facial disfigurement, and the resultant rejection by society, turn her into an embittered blackmailer.
  • The main villain of the third Death Note live action Alternate Continuity film, L: change the WorLd, has a cloudy blue left eye.
  • In Mad Max, each member of the biker gang, including the Nightrider at the beginning, has a prominent facial mole.
  • Torgo's knees in "Manos" The Hands of Fate. They were supposed to make him look like a satyr, which is more often lost on people who have only watched the MST3K version, which frequently cuts off his "hooves."
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Red Skull, of course.
    • The Winter Soldier has a prosthetic metal left arm, which his gear doesn't bother covering any of—there's just a glove so he can grip things (mostly guns) with that hand. He turns out not to be a villain, but Cap's friend Bucky as a Sympathetic Sentient Weapon of HYDRA's.
  • The Bug Alien in Men in Black disguises himself and attempts to pass as a normal human. But his disguise is the skin of a dead man that decays as the film continues. His appearance and behavior, as well as the presence of cockroaches all around him, make him quite villainous.
  • Dr. Rotwang from Metropolis has a mechanical right hand.
  • In the movie Mystery Men, Casanova Frankenstein has creepy fingernails.
  • In Nosferatu, Graf Orlok Looks Like Orlok.
  • In Operation Lovebirds, Kolick (The Dragon to the antagonist Dr. Pax) has a prosthetic right hand with a built-in switchblade.
  • The elite Nazi mooks in Order of the Black Eagle have decidedly non-Nazi traits, such as flaming red hair worthy of a Celtic warrior of legend, or being as bloated as a sack of potatoes. The only elite mook who actually looks like a bonafide Nazi Aryan superman is, of course, the traitor.
  • The six-fingered Count Rugen from The Princess Bride, as well as his albino assistant. In the book, though not the film, Vizzini is a hunchback as well.
  • In The Revengers, Tarp, the leader of the Comancheros who slaughters Benedict's family, is identifiable by his milky white right eye.
  • In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Mortianna is blind in her right eye or seems to have an uncoloured iris.
  • Darryl Revok, the main villain of Scanners, has a very noticeable scar on his forehead, from where he once drilled a hole in his skull to let the voices out.
  • Lord Blackwood in Sherlock Holmes (2009) has a badly crooked incisor, the first thing the film lets us see about him. He's also got very unusual dark green eyes with just a tinge of hazel.
  • In The Sign of Four: Sherlock Holmes' Greatest Case, Jonathan Small as a wooden leg.
  • Kevin the cannibal, from Sin City, had claws. And then there's Yellow Bastard, which should be pretty self-explanatory.
  • Species II: Colonel Carter has a nasty scar over one of his eyes, which is blind. While he is actually trying to stop the aliens from taking over the Earth, it does show him to be a morally dubious character.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan features Khan, the genetically augmented superman makes a spectacle of removing a glove from his left hand, but never removes the right glove throughout the rest of the movie.
  • In the Star Wars films, people's eyes turn yellow when they become Sith. Emperor Palpatine also became further deformed when Mace Windu used the energy of his lightsaber to deflect his own force lightning attack back onto him.
  • In Surf Ninjas Colonel Chi has a mechanical arm, and this is used to make jokes obviously referencing Dr. Strangelove.
  • The pimp in Taxi Driver has long fingernails, apparently for cocaine.
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
    • In the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), The Hitchhiker has a large and prominent birthmark on the side of his face.
    • His twin brother Chop Top in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2 has a matching birthmark on the other side of his face, and has a large piece of his skull replaced by an exposed metal plate.
    • In Marcus Nispel's remake, Leatherface is even more disfigured. He resembles nothing so much as a rotting corpse.
  • In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the resurrected Megatron has an enormous right arm—and a pitifully gimpy-looking left one. The enormous right arm is later torn off. In Dark of the Moon, he's missing about half of his face, due to damage taken during the Final Battle of Revenge.
  • In The Unknown, Alonzo has a double thumb on his left hand. This is one of the reasons he masquerades as being armless.
  • One of the segments in the anthology horror film V/H/S follows a group of men picking up women in a bar. One of the women, who turns out to be a flesh-eating, bat-like creature in disguise, is acting a bit off throughout the encounter but otherwise is quite normal except for a strange vertical crease in her forehead and scales and claws on her feet.
  • The Wizard of Oz: The Wicked Witch of the West and her iconic green skin.
  • In Wonder Woman (2017), Doctor Poison wears a World War I-era surgical reconstructive mask over the lower-left portion of her face. When it gets knocked off during the chaos of the Final Battle, we see that it's been hiding heavy disfigurements — her nose and cheek look melted, and there's a large gash across the latter that expose her teeth.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • Mystique can look like anybody she feels like, but she can't cover up the scars Wolverine gave her in the first movie. Also, her eyes occasionally flash yellow. This is contrary to the comics, where she has total control over her physical appearance, but Wolverine can still identify her because she can't mask her scent.
    • Jason Stryker from X2: X-Men United has heterochromia, an easy way of recognizing the illusory depictions of himself.

  • Most of the villains in the Alex Rider series exhibit this, especially the Dragons.
    • Stormbreaker has Mr. Grin, who has a Glasgow Smile.
    • Skeleton Key has Conrad, who... Let's just leave it as Body Horror.
    • Scorpia has Nile, who has vitiligo, resulting in having various blotches of white skin.
    • Ark Angel has Kaspar, who had his entire head tattooed to look like Earth.
    • Snakehead has Major Yu, who has osteoporosis.
    • Crocodile Tears has Desmond McCain, who has a misaligned jaw.
    • Scorpia Rising has Julius Grief, who looks exactly like Alex.
  • Briar Cudgeon, part of the Big Bad Duumvirate in Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, has a drooping eyelid and a skin complexion that's described as like melted tar, as a result of being hit with a sleeping dart and the chemicals in the dart reacting poorly with an illegal stimulant he was taking.
  • The Belgariad: As told in the prequel novel Belgarath the Sorcerer, when the Dragon God Torak raised the Orb of Aldur in anger, he paid for it dearly when the Orb burned half his face in retaliation. The Orb is the only object in the world with the power to harm a god, and since gods weren't created with the power to heal, the maiming is permanent, forcing him to wear a steel mask to conceal the damage. But even the mask cannot conceal the flames that still burn on the left side of that face (and you wonder why Beldin calls him "burnt-face").
  • Brimstone Angels: Farideh's mismatched Eyes, one silver and one gold, and to a lesser extent her twin sister Havilar's two gold eyes and the horns, fangs and tails sported by both of them, are seen as this by many characters. They are tieflings (humanoids with a devil heritage) and as such are more than used to people thinking they are evil just because of what they look like. For many strangers, Farideh's mismatched eyes seal the deal and put her firmly into Obviously Evil territory, despite the fact that she's not, and this has had a pretty noticeable impact on her personality.
  • Charles Dickens often used this trope. Uriah Heep in David Copperfield is an Evil Redhead with maroon eyes, bald eyebrows, sweaty palms and a squirmy way of moving; Wackford Squeers in Nicholas Nickleby only has one eye; Mr. Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop has a head too big for his body.
  • In Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Lord Foul's eyes look like "yellow, carious fangs", betraying his true nature. Significant in that his usual form is all but concealed but for those eyes, and when revealed but for them, he looks pretty noble.
  • Cradle Series: Whenever anyone becomes a Gold-stage sacred artist by capturing a Remnant or contracting a sacred beast, they gain a "goldsign," a mark of their power. These signs include burning eyes, a poison-spitting ghost on the arm, a cloud around the head, or an arm with an attached sword sprouting out of the back. As the sacred artist gains power, their goldsign will evolve, and they will usually gain the ability to hide it. Because your goldsign is directly connected to your chosen Path, there are a lot of common goldsigns, and most of the greater houses have identical ones. On the other hand, it's also possible to reach Gold through sheer power, which does not produce a goldsign. This is more difficult, though, so it's more rare.
  • Dan Brown seems to be fond of this, as he has a Deaf Dragon in Digital Fortress, and an Evil Albino Dragon and Evil Cripple Man Behind the Man in The Da Vinci Code.
  • Subverted with Jamie De Curry, one of Roland's fellow gunslingers in The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. He has a prominent birthmark, described at different times as being on his face or his hand - the latter stained so deep a red that it looks as if it was dipped in blood. He dies saving Roland from a sniper's bullet.
  • In the Deltora Quest series, the shapeshifting Ols must always travel in pairs, and have a mark on their body that they can't get rid of. And when you get to suspecting every pair of twins (and twin-like sorts) they come across... well, maybe you don't stop to think that the pairs don't have to look anything like each other.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Discworld series:
    • Hogfather, the villain Mr. Teatime is described as "quite pretty," except for his eyes: one is blank glass, while the other (considered far more disturbing) is yellow-white with a pinpoint pupil. (The page image is the film adaptation version of him.)
    • In other Discworld novels, transformed creatures (including gods in disguise) cannot change their eyes. In Witches Abroad, Greebo retains cat's eyes in human form, and the Duc has to wear dark glasses because he's still got the eyes of a frog. Way back in The Colour of Magic, Rincewind figured out he was talking to The Lady because of her signature glowing green eyes.
    • The Cunning Man from I Shall Wear Midnight has no eyes - not blank skin or empty sockets, you just can see what's behind his head through the spots where his eyes should be.
  • Harry Dresden in The Dresden Files has one of his hands blackened and useless for several books. There was one area of his hand that wasn't burnt. And it was shaped like Lasciel's seal.
  • In Andrey Valentinov's series Eye of the Power recurring villain, vampire and necromancer Vseslav Volkov has unnaturally red skin tone.
  • In Fire Bringer, the chief antagonist Sgorr is a stag with no antlers and only one eye.
  • Karkas, a serial killer in Galaxy of Fear, has a "crushed eye".
  • The race of trolls in Goblin Moon and The Gnome's Engine appear mostly human, save that each sports a Red Right Hand or two (clawed hand, cloven hoof, fox muzzle, etc). These may be a legacy of their origins, as some claim they were once humans who became contaminated by their overuse of dark magic.
  • Inverted in the Warhammer 40,000 novel Grey Knights, where the Allking of Sophano Secundus and his retainers appear normal at first, but only reveal their Chaos mutations once the truth is guessed at.
  • Harry Potter series:
    • With a snake-like face that nosedives into the deepest, darkest bowels of the Uncanny Valley, you can tell at first sight that Voldemort is evil. His features began changing due to his creation of Horcruxes, and after his resurrection he gained his terrifying form.
    • Peter Pettigrew sacrifices his hand to reconstitute Voldemort. He gets a beautiful silver hand in payment. But the hand is loyal to Voldemort only and ends up strangling Pettigrew to death when the latter hesitates out of a debt to Harry.
  • Precision, from Hell's Children by Andrew Boland, literally has a red right hand. He also has a catastrophic plan.
  • Multiple examples occur in the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft:
    • Nyarlathotep's avatar of the Black Man, used in Witch's Sabbaths and the like, the Crawling Chaos takes the form of a completely hairless man with caucasian features and stark black skin. While never actually shown, it is strongly implied this form also has cloven hooves.
    • Joseph Curwen has a mysterious black spot in the middle of his abdomen that is implied to be the mark he received to signify his membership in the local coven. Curwen has, along with anyone else raised from the dead using the means he had at his disposal, multiple anomalous physical characteristics such as loosely-knit skin and odd respiration.
    • The inhabitants of Innsmouth have the so-called Innsmouth Look, a set of common and unattractive physical traits shared by almost everyone in the town. These include premature balding in men and women, wide mouths, bulging eyes, and coarse skin. These characteristics seem to get worse as they grow older.
  • President Snow from The Hunger Games wears flowers on his lapel to cover up the scent of blood. He suffers from mouth lesions caused by a botched attempt at poisoning his political rival. (Snow was compelled to quaff the poison himself, but managed to take an antidote before it killed him.)
  • James Bond:
    • Mr. Big in Live and Let Die has ash-grey skin and yellow eyes. His appearance is a factor in making his people believe that he is a zombie, or even Baron Samedi (from Voodoo beliefs) himself.
    • Hugo Drax in Moonraker has plenty of Red Right Hands; he is Two-Faced, his left eye is slightly larger than the other in appearance (and is perpetually bloodshot), his thumbs are unnaturally long and he has "ogre's teeth". Going by old superstitions, the guy is one transformation away being a full-blown werewolf (incidentally, he was part of the Nazi werwolf infiltration unit).
    • One of the most literal is Red Grant of From Russia with Love, whose nickname besides referencing his allegiance to the Soviet Union, refers to his unpleasantly red skin tone which indicates the evil behind otherwise handsome features. He also has glassy eyes that betray his insane nature.
    • Dr. No has no eyelashes, eyebrows or hair on top of his head. Instead of hands, he has a pair of pincers.
    • Goldfinger is describe to look like "he had been put together with bits of other people's bodies."
    • Thunderball's Emilio Largo has pointed ears and enormous hands that are twice the size of a normal person's.
    • Ernst Stavro Blofeld, introduced in Thunderball, also has irises that are completely surrounded by the whites of his eyes. In the next book, he uses green contact lenses to cover it up, but then he also has a nose deformed by syphilis.
    • Both main bad guys in The Spy Who Loved Me has a defining physical characteristic; Sol "Horror" Horowitz has steel-capped teeth, and Sluggsy Morant has no hair on his head due to a conditon he developed in prison.
    • Francisco Scaramanga, the eponymous villain of The Man with the Golden Gun has a third nipple. The condition's mythic relation to sexual virility is brought up in a file on him, and he lives up to it.
    • Former Nazi von Richter from Colonel Sun has his right ear and the area around it scarred due to a powerful gun being discharged near it during the second World War.
    • In For Special Services, Markus Bismaquer's right-hand man Walter Luxor looks like a corpse, and Markus's wife Nena has only one breast.
    • In Brokenclaw, the eponymous villain received his nickname because of a deformity in his left hand where his thumb is on the right (viewing the palm up) rather than the left, giving him two right hands.
    • All three Chang brothers in Zero Minus Ten have albinism.
    • Junji "Kappa" Kon from The Man with the Red Tattoo is a Depraved Dwarf and true to his nickname, he has a bowl-like depression on top of his head, which makes him resemble a Kappa, a demon from Japanese Mythology.
    • In Devil May Care the villain has gigantism in his right hand, making it resemble a gorilla's.
    • Kobus in Solo is Two-Faced due to getting shot twice into the left side of his face in the past.
  • Keys to the Kingdom series:
    • Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, and Drowned Wednesday have all been corrupted and are significantly diminished.
    • And then there's the Skinless Boy, which isn't an entirely accurate name but is close enough. It has a red (okay then, ochre), skeletal half.
    • Lord Sunday's eyes are entirely dark.
  • Derek Leech, Greater-Scope Villain and Antichrist in various works by Kim Newman, including the novel The Quorum, has a very subtle example that only the reader knows about — his constant chewing of gum and other things is because his teeth, like a rodent's, are constantly growing and need to be worn down.
  • The Big Bad in The Lost Symbol has tattoos over literally his whole body. When he goes incognito, any skin not covered by clothes has to be heavily coated in makeup to hide them.
  • In The Magicians, The Beast (AKA Martin Chatwin) appears completely human except for three or four extra fingers on each hand.
  • The Millennium Trilogy: Ronald Niedermann, the hulking blond assassin who cannot feel pain, has a "weak" face to show that not all is right with him morally or physically.
  • Cinder of the Chandrian in The Name of the Wind has white hair and solid black eyes. He also has a nightmare-inducing grin.
  • Spoiled and psychotic Prince Red from Nova was born without a right arm, and medics failed to fix it, leaving him unable to use the omnipresent Brain–Computer Interface (neural sockets implanted into one's spine and limbs) to its full extent. Instead, he has superhumanly strong mechanical arm, which he hides under a shoulder-long black glove. And he reacts very badly if someone as much as mentions his arm.
  • T. H. White does this with Mordred in The Once and Future King, and explicitly makes a comparison to Richard III.
  • Saint Dane's chilling ice-blue eyes in The Pendragon Adventure remain through all his transformations.
  • The book version of The Phantom of the Opera has Erik's deformity cover the whole face, in that it makes his head look like a skull.
  • In a Pirates of the Caribbean prequel novel, there is a pirate named "Left-Foot Louie", who literally has two left feet.
  • Red Dragon has both Hannibal Lecter and the less well-known Francis Dolarhyde. In the books, Lecter has maroon eyes and is polydactyl. Dolarhyde has a harelip from surgery to repair his cleft palate (which, in his mind, makes him The Grotesque), as well as yellow eyes.
  • Redwall:
    • Outcast of Redwall features Swartt Sixclaw and his son Veil, who each have an extra digit on their left paw. Veil also ends up with a literal Red Right Hand, and red left hand too. He's tricked into staining them with beetroot juice in a trap set to find a poisoner which plays on his temporary Out, Damned Spot! mentality.
    • Cluny the Scourge has an abnormally long tail which he uses as a weapon.
    • Ashleg is a disfigured Pine Marten, the only one that shows up in Mossflower and that serves under evil Tsarmina.
    • Slagar the Cruel had half his face ripped off by Asmodeus back in the first book.
    • Urgan Nagru is a silver fox that wears a dead wolf skull on his head and took the dead wolf’s name as his own.
    • Ublaz is a hypnotist, apart from being the only pine marten in the book (and one of three in the series).
    • Damug Warfang is twice the size of a normal rat.
    • Mokkan (and the other Marlfoxes) are all patchy and multicolored, for the purpose of camoflauge.
    • Princess Kurda is an albino of a family of albinos, which are called Pure Ferrets, all of whom are evil.
    • Raga Bol has a Hook Hand from his encounter with Lonna Bowstripe.
    • Riggu Felis also has half his face ripped off, by Pandion.
    • Vizka Longtooth is a golden fox with a Meaningful Name.
    • Razzid Wearat is a weasel/rat hybrid and is not to be confused with the Wearetnote , which shows up in Mattimeo.
  • In the Revelation Space novels, people infected with the Haussman Virus spontaneously bleed from their right hands in stigmatic imitation of the crucifixion of Sky Haussman, which helps in tracking a certain character through multiple memory gambits and deep covers
  • The Reynard Cycle: Ghul, who is a tattooed, golden-skinned man with mismatched eyes. One is hazel, the other brown. Oh, and did we mention he's a Torture Technician?
  • In Seeta, the Thuggee bandit leader Azrael Pande would be considered handsome if not for the jagged, irregular teeth that project from his lower jaw.
  • A bogeyman-ish torturer in the The Seventh Tower series has half of his body replaced by a living mass of shadow. Of course, this is thanks to his boss removing that half of his body in the first place to ensure his loyalty, but that's hardly a burning issue to the people whose minds he's wrecking through their nightmares.
  • In J. Michael Reaves' fantasy novel The Shattered World, the evil sorceress Ardatha has made a pact with a demon, which transformed her left hand into the likeness of a demon's hand, with claws and black scaly skin. The hand is the source of great magical power, supplementing Ardatha's own considerable power, and can glow with unholy fire. It's a source of both pride and terror for Ardatha.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant:
    • Nefarious Serpine literally has a red right hand — that is to say, there is no skin on that hand, only muscle and bone. He can use this to channel a torturous killing curse.
    • The second and third books have Billy-Rae Sanguine, who has two black holes where his eyes should be. Creates a particular dissonance, since he is otherwise a fun-natured (albeit Ax-Crazy) Texan. Also the Faceless Ones cause the faces of those they possess to melt in a manner which destroys all of their features, the source of their name.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Sandor Clegane is first introduced as a thug, with half of his face grotesquely burned. This seems to be a Red Right Hand until further characterization shows how conflicted Sandor is, mostly because of his disfigurement, which was performed on him by his monstrous brother.
    • Tyrion Lannister (loosely based on Richard III) in the minds of the people of Westeros. While Tyrion isn't a villain (yet), the fact that he's a particularly ugly dwarf causes just about everyone to view him as "the twisted little monkey demon" and the evil power behind the throne. This becomes worse after the Battle of the Blackwater, where his nose is cut off.
    • Victarion Greyjoy receives a burned arm up to the elbow as the result of some black magic healing. Afterwards, he becomes much more interested in human sacrifice and starts making some grand plans of conquest.
    • In the prequel novellae, Daeron II's bastard half-brother, Bloodraven, is a one-eyed albino, and widely blamed for the ills of the realm, up to and including murdering members of the royal family. He is a sorcerer, but his true motivations are currently unclear. And although he did kill members of his family, they were rebelling against the Targaryens.
    • The Warlocks of Qarth all have pale blue lips and mouths from frequent drinkings of a mysterious liquid called "Shade of the Evening".
    • The psychopathic Euron Greyjoy wears an eyepatch to cover his "crow's eye." It's not clear what's wrong with his eye or what it looks like.
    • Roose Bolton, lord of a house famous for flaying their victims alive, looks utterly normal except for his eerie, pale eyes.
    • His bastard Ramsay Snow, later legitimized to Ramsay Bolton, is ugly, with blotchy skin, fleshiness and thick lips, and he shares his father's eyes. He is one of the most villainous characters in this Crapsack World.
  • Sword of Truth:
    • Emperor Jagang is pretty thuggish looking anyway, but it is highly unusual and disturbing eyes which mark him out as something special and evil. They are totally gray, with no irises (though you can still tell when he is focusing on you apparently), with murky shapes moving across the gray.
    • Darken Rahl was also described as incredibly handsome except for his side, which was horribly burned. You can also tell by the way his name is Darken.
  • In Ursula K. Le Guin's Tehanu, a young and horrifically injured girl falls victim to this trope: a withered and nigh-useless hand, missing one eye, besides the fact she's traveling with a foreigner who brought magic items from a distant land while in the company of great wizards.
  • Terry Brooks' works.
  • The title character of Philip K. Dick novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch has horizontally slitted metal eyes, metal teeth and a mechanical right arm: all physical signs of his metaphysical transformation into something very other than human.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • In The Silmarillion, Morgoth has incurable burns on his hands from handling the Silmarils. He was also eventually stuck in a permanently frightening Evil Overlord form because he had become too weak and feeble to change his appearance to something resembling beauty. Also, he has a scar on his face from the eagle Thorondor.
    • About the only physical description given of Sauron's current form in The Lord of the Rings is that he is missing a finger on "the Black Hand." That finger was the one that previously wore the One Ring, which was severed by Isildur in battle on Mount Doom. More immediately obvious is the fact that he was cursed with Shapeshifter Mode Lock after his body was destroyed in the destruction of Numenor he had engineered, making him unable to ever again take a pleasant form.
  • In Towards Zero, Mr. Treves describes a young murderer who has a distinct physical characteristic that would make them recognisable even as an adult. Most of the characters present at that time possess such unique physical traits: Mary Aldin has a Skunk Stripe, Nevile Strange has a little finger that is much shorter than the other, Audrey Strange has a scar on her ear, and Thomas Royde has a disfigured hand and an odd gait.
  • Dimitri, the protagonist of a Brazilian novel released in English as Twelve Fingers: Biography of an Anarchist has... guess it. (and since he's really clumsy, they sometimes screw him over: he almost starts World War I, but jams both index fingers in the trigger, allowing for Gavrilo Princip to shoot... and the original title is The Man Who Killed Getúlio Vargas because the extra index "suicides" a Brazilian dictator)
  • In Urban Dragon, necromancy degrades a person's brain to the point where it's described as being like methamphetamine, and necromancers who have been using it long enough look the part.
  • The titular character of the Vampire Hunter D series has a parasitic creature that takes the form of an obnoxious, ugly little face in the palm of his (left) hand. The symbolism is of a hero with inner demons.
  • Jander Sunstar, vampire hero of Ravenloft novel Vampire of the Mists, got permanently scarred (in some sources up to the bone) hand after wielding the holy artifact of Lathander against another vampire, Strahd Von Zarovich.
  • The Witches, from the Roald Dahl book of the same name, all have completely bald heads, oddly shaped nostrils, long sinister fingernails, and - strangely - blue spit. For the most part, they manage to hide these deformities and blend in with society.
  • Young Bond
    • Algar Hellebore from SilverFin is a subversion. While he looks like a brutish villain with his deformed features, he is actually kind (if simple), and tries to help anyone in trouble.
    • Count Carnifex in Blood Fever has white skin and hair, both of which are further pronounced by his choice of equally white clothes.
    • Ludwig Smith in Double or Die is a gaunt-looking man with a face like a skull.
    • Mrs. Glass in Hurricane Gold is bald on top of her head, as it got shredded with gunfire in the past.
    • Wrangel in By Royal Command has puffy, scarred eyelids, with most of his eyes buried behind extremely narrow slits. His boss Graf von Schlick has a lifeless, doll-like face which is a result of the plastic surgery he received after being burned.
    • Less exaggerated than usual in Shoot to Kill with one of Kostler's henchmen, who has a port-stain birthmark from his ear to his jaw.
    • In Heads You Die, Ramón has an ugly scar running from under his nose to his chin, while his co-Dragon El Puño ("The Fist") lost a hand and had it replaced with a block of granite carved into a fist.
    • Maximilian Blade from Strike Lightning has Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, or Stone Man Syndrome - his soft tissues are gradually ossifying into solid bone, leaving him twisted and in constant risk of injuring himself.
    • Subverted in Red Nemesis with La Velada. Despite being known for always having her face hidden by her trademark veil, there's nothing unusual about her features.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, vengeance demons and Dark Willow are both explicitly described as "veiny". When Warren acquires a talisman of super-strength, Andrew is disappointed that it didn't make him "all huge and veiny".
  • Doctor Who:
    • Tobias Vaughn in "The Invasion" has a heavy squint and, as the Doctor observes, barely ever blinks.
    • Davros has a mechanical right hand after the original was shot off (in "Revelation of the Daleks"). He can fire energy bolts from it. Not to mention his Eyeless Face, Bald of Evil, and forehead sensor thing.
    • Lucius Petrus Dextrus from "The Fires of Pompeii" has a, er, petrus dextrusnote  of his own, but he keeps it hidden under a cloak. The Sybilline sisters are well on their way, too, but their symptoms are less extreme, more easily concealed - appropriate, as they're equally a little more neutral than Lucius.
  • In Dollhouse Topher's slightly less moral counterpart Bennett Halverson has a red left hand, her dead arm kept in a sling. Topher thinks it's hot.
    • This was actually a case of Real Life Writes the Plot. Summer Glau broke her arm between her casting and filming her first episode, and the producers decided to run with it. The flashback sequences detailing her early friendship with Caroline were filmed after her arm healed.
  • Thomas Barrow of Downton Abbey wears a glove to hide his mutilated hand.
  • Rankel, Ming's vizier in the 2007 remake of Flash Gordon, wears a long robe that obscures his legs, and does not walk, but rather glides along the floor. Additionally, and less subtly, he has a glass plate on his head which exposes his brain. In a twist from the usual, though, it seems he's going for a Heel–Face Turn or has been plotting like The Starscream.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Shade of the Evening stains the Warlocks' lips and mouths blue, making them easy to spot... when they aren't hiding it with magic.
    • Sandor Clegane's burns and Tyrion's dwarfism lead many to assume they are monsters even though they subvert the trope.
    • Myranda's crooked teeth. The actress, Charlotte Hope, has normal teeth in real life.
  • Maxtor, the Scary Black Man who beats up audience members and competes against contestants as a type of gladiator on El gran juego de la oca has a glass eye as part of his costume.
  • In The Invaders (1967–68), the aliens (at first) can't bend their pinkies.
  • In Kamen Rider Kiva, Taiga, aka Saga wears one black glove. This hides the emblem on his hand that shows him to be King in the Checkmate Four.
  • Ankh from Kamen Rider OOO. To an extent. (As in, usually he is a literal red right hand, as that's the only part of his body that he's managed to restore. By attaching himself to the right arm of the dying Shingo Izumi, he is able to take over and have him as a host for most of the series.)
  • Kenny on Kenny vs. Spenny is missing the tip of one of his fingers. Kenny often employs "evil" tactics like irradiating Spenny so he can't produce semen.
  • On The League of Gentlemen, Serial Killer brother-sister couple Edward and Tubbs Tattsyrup both have piggy noses. There's also Monster Clown Papa Lazarou's blackface makeup, which is later hinted to be his actual skin color.
  • Inverted in LOST, where Locke gets a Dr. No-like scar across his eye from the plane crash and was a paraplegic. He's the good guy until the last season.
  • On Monk, the man who planted the bomb in Trudy's car has six fingers on one hand.
  • Smallville:
  • The Vidiians on Star Trek: Voyager are victims of a flesh-eating disease known as The Phage. They scour the universe looking for replacement body parts, reducing the whole lot of them to Mix and Match Men. This was later subverted in an episode where the Doctor fell in love with a female Vidiian, proving their species wasn't always malevolent.
  • On Supernatural, both demonic possessions and shapeshifters are indistinguishable from the real person except for occasionally discolored eyes.
  • In Tales from the Darkside, the demoness possessing Mary Jane draws the parent's attention to the fact that she now has goats' feet.
  • The mysterious killer in True Detective has burn scars around his jaw.

  • Used word for word in the opening stanza of "The Writhing South," by Say Anything. Not that the narrator's intentions are dubious in the first place, though. However, the song is about drugs.
  • Laura Branigan's "Self Control" has a character with two red hands who tempts and seduces the singer.
  • The song "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds from their album Let Love In is about such a character. This character goes around doing good deeds, giving people their hearts' desires, but only as the prelude to some unspecified plot. (The song was inspired by Milton's use of the phrase... which was, despite the vaguely Satanic implications of much of the uses of the trope and indeed the song itself, referencing God.)
    You're one microscopic cog
    In his catastrophic plan
    Designed and directed
    By his red right hand
  • The Lemon Demon song "Atomic Copper Claw" is supposedly about a person who's seemingly friendly, but is actually planning to murder the singer with the eponymous instrument. However, there's a fairly strong implication that the singer's just paranoid.
  • Lupe Fiasco's concept characters all have these. "The Cool" has a skeletal right hand, "The Streets" has glowing dollar signs for pupils, and "The Game" has dice for eyes and breathes out crack smoke.
  • The music video for Rammstein's song "Ich Will" has this - the band members perform a robbery, and most of them have a physical defect to show them to be the bad dudes - club foot, plastic hand, blind in one eye.
  • The music video for Miike Snow (Yes, correct spelling)'s "Genghis Kahn" is a James Bond parody. The "Bond Villain" has a prosthetic metal nose, which runs a bit on the left side of his face. Found here.
  • The song "Worship You" by Vampire Weekend uses this phrase in the chorus. It is directed at a deity, most likely the Christian God, implying that he is not benevolent. This is a theme present throughout the album Modern Vampires of the City.

    Mythology and Folklore 
  • Some scholars believe based on the last verse of Zechariah 11 that The Antichrist will have something wrong with his right eye and right hand.
    • The Dajjal, the Islamic interpretation of The Antichrist is barely ever described without the blind right eye.
  • In old English myth, the barghest — a monstrous, ghostly black dog — could look like anything, but it would always have glowing red eyes.
  • In Jewish folklore, as well as some Eastern European traditions, demons and vampires look like normal people except that they have bird's feet.
  • In many old European folktales, the devil can take any form, but can't disguise his clubfoot/cloven hoof. Perhaps some sort of high heeled shoes?
  • The original ghouls of Arabic lore had a similar deal, only they couldn't hide their cloven hooves.
  • Kitsune can't hide their tails, or in some variations, their tiny paws instead of feet. In some Chinese versions of the same concept, this inspired foot binding. It was also claimed that Kitsune couldn't pronounce 'moshi-moshi' when speaking, even in human form. This led to the tradition of using 'Moshi-moshi' as a greeting in Japan.
  • The Ly Erg in Scottish Folklore was a fairy that looked like a soldier who would pick fights; win or lose those they fought would die within a fortnight. They were only distinguishable by their red right hand; stained by the blood of their victims.
  • Norse Mythology:
    • Loki had scars on his mouth from a time when a dwarf sewed it shut.
    • Loki's daughter, Hel, looked like a beautiful woman from the waist up but was a rotting corpse from the waist down.
    • The huldra (or hulder) are seductive spirits who look like beautiful women, except that they have a small cow's tail (and in some versions a hollow spot in their backs). Some stories say that the tail will fall off if they can be convinced to start doing good.
  • In folklore of India, the Rakshasa, tiger-headed demons, can masquerade as humans, but their hands always point the wrong way (palms up instead of down, and their thumbs point outwards).
  • In The Shahnameh, the tyrant Zahhak has a deadly serpent growing from each shoulder — an echo of his origins as a three-headed dragon in Zoroastrian mythology.
  • Several types of malevolent spirits in English and Celtic Mythology looked like horses or cows with hooves pointing backwards. Indian folktales had female spirits with the same defect.
  • In the original vampire myths, vampires had a mutated left hand with scales and claws instead of skin and fingernails.
  • In Eastern European folklore, the werewolf will have fur growing beneath his skin in his human form, fur that becomes visible when you cut him. Something Van Helsing got right, shockingly. Other signs of lycanthropy include hair on the palms of a werewolf's hands and an index finger as long as or longer than the middle. In wolf form, werewolves were said to retain their human eyes and to have no tails.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Jillian Hall's original gimmick in WWE involved her having a huge "blemish" or "mole" on her cheek, which was apparently supposed to have been a reason for people to hate her.

  • The Bible: The "foolish shepherd" (usually interpreted by Christians as being The Antichrist) is depicted as having his arm withered and his right eye gone blind due to a sword wound in Zechariah 11:17.

  • Invoked by the members of the villainous Dark Dragon group in Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, who purposely inflict themselves with burn scars across their face to mark them as a member of the organisation.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In BattleTech, the Clans almost never receive cosmetic corrective surgery for injuries in the line of battle. Trent, a Clan Smoke Jaguar warrior, was horribly scarred when his battlemech was hit by an Arrow IV cruise missile during the Clan Invasion, requiring extensive cybernetics to save his life. Trent later betrayed the Clans - after repeatedly being shafted and lied to by his superiors - causing him to give the Successor States the coordinates of the Clan's homeworld, allowing them to massacre Clan Smoke Jaguar after the Clan wiped an occupied city off of the map. Thomas Marik, the leader of the Free Worlds League, had the right side of his face burned in the same assassination attempt that killed his father, and later lead the Word of Blake in their interstellar pogrom.
  • Anyone entering a demonic pact in The Dark Eye receives a mark fitting to the demon's domain (like eternally bleeding wounds for the arch-demon of violence, hang noose markings for the one of punishment, bodyparts growing to bare bones for the arch-demon of undead, etc.). Higher pact circles let these marks grow.
  • Members of the Whateley family in Deadlands, the Tangled Family Tree of which is so screwed up it requires a Guts check not to go insane from looking at it, all have vivid green eyes, pitch-black hair, pale skin, unusually long fingernails, and a generally unnerving presence (on player characters, this is a Charisma penalty unless they're female, in which case they can choose to have it be a bonus instead). With the exception of some cousins, they're also all evil.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The demon lord Graz'zt is described as having shiny black skin, yellow eyes, fangs, six fingers on each hand, and six horns on his head. According to his entry on The Other Wiki, "These fiendish traits are apparent, regardless of whatever form Graz'zt chooses to take."
    • Members of the binder class in 3.5 gain power by channeling vestiges, and can end up with Red Right Hand traits if they botch the checks involved.
    • Ubiquitous in the Ravenloft setting, where committing an evil deed and then blowing a Powers check wins you a Red Right Hand of your very own, courtesy of the enigmatic Dark Powers and their voyeuristic attitude towards crime and punishment. Also, the Vistani like to do this to people who annoy them, such as staining a thief's hands black.
    • In the Lankhmar supplement for 1st and 2nd edition of Dungeons & Dragons, black wizards are afflicted by disgusting deformities each time they level up.
  • In Exalted, Infernals - who aren't necessarily evil but do tend to be somewhat inhuman and weird - typically have minor mutations from the demon that carried them their Exaltation and bonded with their flesh. For a pretty much literal version, there's the capstone Charm of Infernal Monster Style, One-Hand Fury, which turns one of your hands into a very nasty weapon...but usually causes it to transmute into stone or a monster's talon or something weirder, and even if you choose to leave it human in appearance, if it's shattered it gradually reforms into something blatantly inhuman. Abyssals have their own Red Right Hand in the form of their gradual adaptation into either a walking corpse or a terrifying alabaster beauty. Meanwhile, Lunars can shapeshift quite freely but tend to have Tells: quirks that remain though all these forms and can be used to identify them.
  • Tezzeret of Magic: The Gathering receives an arm made of etherium (magic made into metal) as a reward for pledging his service to the extremely malevolent dragon (and general Big Bad of the Multiverse) Nicol Bolas.
  • New World of Darkness
    • Hunter: The Vigil has Slashers, fallen Hunters or preternatural Serial Killers, of whom the Freak and Mutant varieties have some kind of distinctive deformity. Some, especially Mutants, fall all the way into The Grotesque.
    • The version of Dhampyrs presented in the Mirrors sourcebook are all marked by a minor supernatural deformity.
    • In Vampire: The Requiem, every vampire in Clan Nosferatu has an off-putting physical trait of some sort, ranging from Looks Like Orlok deformities all the way down to one hapless fledgling who's stuck permanently smelling of spoiled milk.
  • In Nobilis, Lord Entropy (a.k.a. The Darkest Lord, Imperator of Scorn, Desecration, and Destruction, and the leader of Earth's Imperators in the War for the survival of Creation) has hands that constantly drip blood due to the sheer evil of the deeds he has done in the service of Creation.
    • Also, Execrucians are also in their natural forms due to their eyes, which are full of stars and the void of night.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade
    • The Tzimisce clan of vampires do this to themselves using their unique ability of "Vicissitude", AKA "Fleshcrafting". At higher levels, it edges into Lovecraftian Superpowers.
    • Vampires from the Gangrel clan gained a physical animal trait each time they raged. A kind Storyteller would make you into this trope while a more vindictive one would have you sprout a tail or a frikkin' beak.
    • In the same universe's Demon: The Fallen, the character Harvey Ciujilo (a.k.a. the demon Hasmed, a recurring character in the setting) has one normal eye and one eye full of blood and pus, referred to as his "Evil Eye".
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000
    • Marks of Chaos start as this and may become full-on One-Winged Angel.
    • Sigvald the Magnificent's only blemish is a birthmark in the shape of twin horns on the back of his neck.
    • Although the Soul Drinkers are good guys, many of them still have mutations from a close call with Chaos, providing a constant reminder of how close they came to damnation. Luckily, they have uses for them - Sarpedon stabs people with his eight spider-like legs, for example.
    • There is a deity called Kaela Mensha Khaine, the Bloody-Handed God. In 40K, the Avatar model is usually shown with a left hand that constantly drips blood. In the lore of the Eldar, the blood on his hand is from one of the greatest heroes of Eldar mythology whom he murdered, an act for which he was cursed.
    • The Black Dragons have an oddity in their geneseed that causes them to grow retractable bone spikes on their forearms, and sometimes to have horn-like bony growths on their heads. These Space Marines are treated with suspicion (at best) by many, as this sort of obvious mutation is borderline heretical in the eyes of the Inquisition.
    • The Dusk Raiders (proto-Death Guard) had a literal example in the red right gauntlet on their armour, used to symbolize their status as The Dreaded.

  • Parodied in Goethe's Faust, Part One: A witch is surprised that she cannot see Mephistopheles' cloven foot. Mephistopheles explains that he is using false calves. He does have a limp, though.
  • Older Than Steam: One of the paragons of this is William Shakespeare's Richard III, who has a whole set: hunchbacked, with an atrophied arm, one leg shorter than the other, and born with all his teeth already in place. However, the play is a famous example of Historical Villain Upgrade, and true to this trope, his physical deformity was seemingly exaggerated to emphasize his villainy. After the real king's remains were discovered and examined, he was discovered to have had scoliosis (enough to give him the nickname "Crookback") but it wasn't as bad as the play suggests, and probably wouldn't have been noticeable when he was clothed; his limbs were found to be rather slight, but not mismatched or stunted.
  • Played with in Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Jekyll has a deformed right hand, which becomes healthy when he transforms into the evil Hyde. Also, Hyde has unhealthy falling-out hair, but it's later revealed that so does Jekyll (it's a side-effect of his experiments), only nobody knew because he wears a wig to hide it. That said, Hyde is noted to be ugly and disfigured in other ways.
  • Graf von Krolock in Tanz Der Vampire Looks Like Orlok (except for his masses of long gray hair), particularly in the hands. His Pretty Boy son Herbert has long fingers, too, but they're not deformed like his dad's.
    • The vampire ensemble has a whole collection of nasty posthumous deformities.
  • Almost literal in Friedrich Durenmatt's The Visit, in which Claire, the villain, has an artificial hand and foot to symbolize her inhumanity.
  • Averted with green-skinned misunderstood political activist Elphaba from Wicked. Of course, everyone thinks she's evil, even giving her the name Wicked Witch of the West since it's a retelling of The Wizard of Oz. Played straight with her Yandere sister, wheelchair-bound Nessarose.

  • BIONICLE has Takanuva gain one when his light is drained, his right hand having shadow powers. The mix of light and shadow in him during that period creates a lot of conflict inside.

    Video Games 
  • Woodes Rogers in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has a ghastly wound on his left cheek that he got during a battle with the Spanish navy, and is also one of the Templars, the main villains throughout the series. Naturally, Rogers becomes a key antagonist later on in the story and shows up at Nassau to put an end to Ben Hornigold's attempted Pirate Republic, and is one of the last targets Edward must kill in the entire game.
  • In Baldur's Gate II, the player must take a side in a mob war between a regular crime syndicate and a creepy lady with red eyes and a soft voice. Simply to drive the point home, she will only agree to meet you at the local graveyard, at midnight. Also, she has fangs. And not the nice kind.
  • Kalas from Baten Kaitos is more of a Jerkass Anti-Hero who, in a series where people are able to sprout magical wings, can only manifest one, thus requiring a prosthetic second wing to be able to fly. Since the appearance of someone's wings are a reflection of their heart and personality, everyone in his home town believes that the fact that he was born with only one wing means there's something terribly wrong with him and ostracize him as a result. It's eventually revealed that it's because he's an Artificial Human, and before that he's also revealed as The Mole for the Big Bad, making him a straighter example of this trope than the player is led to believe.
  • Batman: Arkham City:
    • In addition to the deformities of villains present in the comics and other media (Two-Face's scarring, Joker's bleached skin and green hair, Poison Ivy's green skin etc), the Penguin's monocle is replaced by the base of a bottle that was jammed into his eye by an angry customer at the Iceberg Lounge before the events of the game, and stayed there.
    • The Joker also gets his awful rash from the toxin.
  • BlazBlue: Ragna the Bloodedge is another main character example; in his case, his right arm is an artifact to replace his old one that was cut off in his backstory. It's pitch-black and clawed and grants him overwhelming power. It's later revealed to be the remnants of an Eldritch Abomination that has the potential to revive if Ragna overuses it too much.
  • Handsome Jack in Borderlands 2 has surgical clamps and visible seams running along the edge of his "face", along with heterochromia. After killing him, it's shown that the mask hides a hideous scar in the shape of the Vault symbol that runs across his left eye.. The Pre-Sequel shows exactly why he wears the mask: Lilith scarred him by punching an Eridian data storage device right in front of his face, which explains why he hates the Vault Hunters so much.
  • Raul Menendez from Call of Duty: Black Ops II doesn't start out with this, but gets it given to him in the form of having his right eye shot out by Mason, horrifically disfiguring the right side of his face.
  • The Prince/The Tall Man of Chzo Mythos has no skin on either of his hands.
  • Yuri in Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge. Bald guy with tattoo on the forehead? Check. Cybernetic implant? Check. Evil goatee and mustache? Check and check. Psycho gaze? Check. Creepy voice? Check. Performed by Udo Kier? Check.
  • In Crysis 3, the Nanosuit's replication of Prophet's human body would be perfect if not for the glowing bits in his eyes.
  • The Dragon from Deus Ex, Walton Simons, has unpleasant-looking blue veins covering his skin as a result of his nanoaugmentation upgrades. (It's implied that JC and Paul would, too, if they shaved the sides of their head like Simons does — they certainly have similar markings elsewhere.)
  • Inverted in Devil May Cry 4. Nero, the protagonist and all-around good guy, has a red-and-blue-with-glow demonic right forearm that can project a spectral hand for several purposes called the Devil Bringer. He attempts to hide it from others at first by using a sling, but it eventually becomes public knowledge. It proves instrumental in defeating the demons that swarm Fortuna, and his love interest learns to look past the deformity and accept him for who he is.
  • The Slayer class of Dungeon Fighter Online sports a red demonic left (or right) arm, making this another literal case of Red Right Hand.
  • Ruvik in The Evil Within has terrible burn scars all over his body, and part of his skull has been replaced with a glass plate which leaves his brain visible. The villains in the sequel also apply; Stefano has a horribly disfigured right eye, while Father Theodore has a huge scar on the left side of his face.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Morphs in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade look completely human, except their pale skin and golden eyes give them away. One such character even earnestly believed herself to be human, but her appearance gave her away. Then there's Nergal's scar and exposed eye.
  • In the Geneforge series, canister addicts have faintly glowing skin and cold, glowing eyes. Those that have been using canisters for a long time have translucent skin, with their glowing muscles visibly reshaping themselves at all times.
  • Played straight and then massively subverted in Golden Sun. In the first game, the seeming villains have strangely-colored skin, Pointy Ears, Facial Markings, scales, and bright red eyes, and are generally very inhuman-looking. In the second game, it turns out they're from a town where everyone looks like that and is mostly pleasant. It also turns out (a little too late) that they were Anti-Villains trying to save the world, and a lot of their evil acts were driven by desperation after nobody would willingly help them.
  • Played straight in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. Blood Knight Blados has strangely-colored skin and red eyes (initially fueling theories that he was from Prox, which were incorrect), and his partner Chalis has demonic horns. Even with Golden Sun's track record for subverting villain tropes, these two go way too far for any amount of redemption to save them.
  • Three characters in Granblue Fantasy have "unique" arms that would sometimes alienate strangers from interacting with them: Danua's arm burns with purple flames, but she covers it with bandages. There is also a similar case with Zehek who bandages an arm that was magically cursed. Lastly, there's Grea, a half-human half-dragon who not only has a draconic flaming right hand, but also dragon horns and a tail.
  • In inFAMOUS, Kessler has a mechanical gauntlet covering his entire right arm, presumably to enable the long-range energy blast he uses in his boss fight. His Psycho Ex-Girlfriend Sasha basically has Cthulhu for a tongue.
  • Jak and Daxter:
    • Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy: Gol and Maia have Facial Markings, purple skin, and Gol has scary Artificial Limbs.
    • Jak II: Renegade: Baron Praxis is missing half of his face that is replaced by cybernetics. Krew is so obese he needs a hover-chair to move around and has atrophied legs, and his plotting results in Metal Heads invading into the city. Inverted with Sig, who either has a red lens on his eye or a red cybernetic eye, but is one of the heroic characters.
    • Jak 3: Wastelander: Er(r)ol is basically a robot with conscience of original Errol and heavily disfigured. Though his evilness shouldn't come as a surprise at this point of the series.
    • Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier: Subverted with Tim; he has an artificial hand that is identical to Gol's and he has done some bad things, but he genuinely regrets them and helps to turn Phoenix on the right path.
  • The King of Fighters:
    • Rugal Bernstein, who gets a cybernetic hand and eye.
    • Wolfgang Krauser also bore an X-shaped scar on the top of his head.
    • Geese Howard has a sizable scar on his back that he shows off by removing his shirt before battle, gained when he was punted out a window at the end of Fatal Fury.
    • K' has a literal red right hand, as his real one was "incinerated" during the first "live firing" after Kyo's blood was infused into him. He's more of the Anti-Hero though.
    • Rugal again in his "God Rugal" form in the SNK vs. Capcom series, has a real red hand.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts series, anyone completely immersed in darkness, including all incarnations of Xehanort, has striking amber eyes. Tellingly, the amnesiac Xehanort inhabiting Terra's body doesn't have them. Oddly, the real Ansem the Wise has them too, which makes his true identity somewhat of a mystery throughout Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Knights of the Old Republic Darth Malak lost his jaw and replaced it with a mechanical device covering his mouth.
  • Inverted in The Last Story by Zael, who possesses the Mark of the Outsider. When activated, he gets a Blue Right Hand, symbolizing his position as The Hero. Played completely straight however by Zangurak and Dagran.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Even as a normal human Ganondorf had unusual green skin, as did his surrogate mother, the witch Twinrova. How green depends on the artist and game. Chancellor Cole in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has twin top hats worn on his head, which very obviously cover up the devil horns he's seen with later. And reverse colored eyes.
  • Mass Effect
    • Saren, who looks just like a normal Turian except for Geth parts grafted onto his armor and his lack of clan markings, which, in Turian culture, signifies lack of honor.
    • The Illusive Man has strange blue markings in his eyeballs much like Saren's hinting at a shared history of coming into contact with Reaper technology.
    • Kai Leng in Mass Effect 3 doesn't have proper eyes, just a strange cybernetic strip that runs across his face at eye-level.
    • In Mass Effect 2 and 3, a Renegade Shepard will begin to develop glowing red scars across their face, followed by glowing red eyes. Taking a few Paragon actions will dramatically reduce the effect, and there's a device that can be researched to completely remove it, should you wish to do so.
  • Master of the Monster Lair:
    • Ironsides the golem has a big hole in its chest, exposing a glowing heart-like object.
    • The Devil Prince and his sister, the Devil Princess: the left half of their faces look like a human's, but the right half has red skin and demonic features. Interestingly their father does not look like this; his face is completely red and demonic.
  • Metal Gear:
  • General Korbut, Big Bad from Metro: Last Light, has a red and blind right eye.
  • In an expansion to Neverwinter Nights the player can opt for the Pale Master prestige class; one of the features of this class is that after a number of levels, the player's right arm is replaced with a skeletal arm which can kill foes with just a touch.
  • The Overlord of Overlord II has blue skin as well, but this is the result of the old tower heart blowing up around the time he was born.
  • Trias the angel from Planescape: Torment looks precisely as a being of pure good should... But his wings have burned away and been left a charred, skeletal frame.
  • Ghetsis Harmonia from Pokémon Black and White. His right eye is covered with a red monocle (his concept art shows it covers some pretty nasty cars), his robe has red eyes patterned on it, the right side of his face seems to be paralyzed, and his right arm is obscured by his robe at all times, implying it is missing. However, during the introduction of the game, his right arm is briefly seen as he crowns N but is in its entirety discolored red. In the sequels, his right arm appears to be missing, he now carries a cane emblazoned with the Team Plasma logo for support, and he has to take a breath before shoving it in the ground.
  • In Puyo Puyo, one of the main characters, Sig, has a red left hand, complete with heterochromia. Inverted in the sense that he is peaceful, absent-minded, and cares about nothing except insects. Implied to be played straight or slightly averted if you think a LOT about Strange Klug's backstory.
  • Wesker from Resident Evil has red eyes after Resident Evil 1.
  • Chiaki in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne gets one after she undergoes her Evil Makeover. See it here.
  • SoulCalibur series:
    • Nightmare has a bulky demonic right arm that is passed on to anyone he possesses. Siegfried's arm is restored by Soul Calibur, But it looks like Pyrrha's is only going to fade away given time to heal after she turns good again.
    • Zasalamel's golden left eye, which he apparently has in all of his incarnations... although no one's sure if he's one of the villains or not.
  • Star Fox Adventures: General Scales, walking around with hook-blades for a left hand, is clearly and Obviously Evil.
  • The protagonist of Tales of Berseria, Velvet Crowe, has a red left hand after the Big Bad sacrificed her little brother and tossed the both of them into a hole.
  • Team Fortress 2: the Engineer has a mechanical right hand. According to canon, he severed his own flesh and blood hand in order to replace it with a machine one that his grandfather designed. Somewhat averted, though, as Engie is still more or less the nicest guy on the Team. (Which isn't saying much.)
  • Hitting the obscure, Doll Master from Threads of Fate had a massive, evil right hand of death.
  • Sho Minamimoto has a black left hand and in his second incarnation, two black arms due to his being half Taboo Noise in The World Ends with You.

    Visual Novels 
  • Inverted in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: It's the lack of one on the killer's hand which proves that both Mukuro and Kyoko, who do have the markings typical of this trope, are innocent of the crime they're accused of.
  • Fate/stay night: True Assassin aka Hasan-i-Sabbah sports a literal example of this. Its primary use was to assassinate targets by making a fake heart of the target out from ether and then crush it, destroying the original along with it.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
    • Justice for All: The Big Bad is your defendant, Matt Engarde. He looks innocuous enough, until he pulls The Reveal, which consists of giving himself a phone call, pulling back his hair to reveal scars on his eye, and pulling a glass of brandy out of nowhere just to swirl it around while grinning evilly.
    • In the final case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Kristoph Gavin has a scar on the back of his hand that looks like a skull when he flexes his fingers a certain way.
    • While not an unusual feature, Dahlia Hawthorne's red hair is the only difference between her and her good-natured twin sister Iris.
    • Shelly De Killer has stitches running down the middle of his face.
      Phoenix: A baseball has stitches! Are you saying all baseballs are suspicious because they have stitches?!

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY has a few examples:
    • Cinder Fall originally had a Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon but suffered severe scarring along the left side of her face and body thanks to Ruby's Silver Eyes power, which better reflects her cruel and selfish nature.
    • Salem is a walking embodiment of this trope. Between the bone-white skin, prominent black Tainted Veins on her face and arms, glowing red eyes with black scleras, long black nails, and to top it all off, SMOKE BILLOWING OUT FROM UNDER HER ROBES, it's impossible to mistake her as anything other than the Big Bad of the series.
    • Adam Taurus, freedom fighter turned terrorist and Blake's abusive, obsessive ex, wears his signature mask to conceal the Schnee Dust Company brand over his left eye.

  • In Charby the Vampirate, the author has a right red hand (complete with black spikes and claws!) added to her sexy and nice self-portrait in the first page to remind everyone she draws a wickedly evil webcomic that kills characters off AFTER they've been around long enough for you to get attached.
  • In Comedity, one of Garth's personae, number 47, literally goes by "The Red Right Hand" and while not strictly evil is all of Garth's violent tendencies embodied. Hello again, Natalia.
  • In Cura Te Ipsum, main antagonist Dark Everett, "cut off his own nose to spite his face."
  • Dominic Deegan: Dominic's older brother Jacob is missing most of the flesh from one arm and the bottom half of his face due to his screwing around with necromancy. Though it's been restored a couple of times, as well as being turned pitch black (momentarily) by absorbing pure undiluted Undead Blight. Eventually Jacob gets his body completely restored, and seems to be keeping it that way after a Heel–Face Turn.
  • In Erstwhile, the stepsister in "Brother and Sister" is missing an eye, and not even her mother's magic can hide that.
  • In Genocide Man, Genocide Men (and women) have all-white eyes. Technically, this is just an artistic choice to portray the Empty Eyes that come from dealing with genetic deviants and committing regular purges for the better part of sixty years, but their eyes are apparently so prominent and unmistakable in their lack of life and warmth that characters remark on it, one even thinking they had to be implants because no real eyes could look so empty.
  • Homestuck:
    • Whoever wears one of the Queens' rings gain physical features of each player's prototyped spirit; ie, wings, long tentacles and a sword through their torso. After Jack becomes the only one left wearing the ring, he gets a literal Red Right Hand. It's covered in the blood of WV, who Jack punched through the stomach to get the uranium he ate.
    • Many characters, including Jack, are also missing an arm and an eye. Not all of the others are evil, though.
  • Nature of Nature's Art: SV spends quite a bit of time in self-imposed exile, seeking the power of malice... and that ended up taking priority over his own well-being. So when he returns to civilisation, his fur is really messy, his incisors have become extremely long (and they curve out of his mouth in an unnatural way), and one of his eyes... well, it's either completely red or completely black. The greyscale art makes it hard to tell.
  • From Nebula, Black Hole has thumbs instead of pinkie fingers; a perfectly symmetrical hand is used at several points to represent her influence.
  • In Nodwick, the evil wizard Ildomir has glowing eyes. (His two companions look rather evil, but this Trope doesn't seem to apply to them, although Piffany does claim that Elonan "smells like the lead mandolin player for Crossbows and Roses".
  • Drucilla the shape-shifting succubus of Pibgorn (from the creator of 9 Chickweed Lane) has reddish notched elf ears that she can't alter even if she's just in other people's dreams.
  • Dial of The Property of Hate wears a red glove on his right hand. A red right hand, if you will.
  • Averted with Clinton from Questionable Content; he has a very obvious prosthetic hand, but he's not evil, just overzealous and a little unintentionally creepy.
  • In Sinfest, Li'l E regards his horns as this.
  • Trace of TwoKinds has ended up with a black and clawed left hand (sinister, huh?) after using potentially mind-destroying dark magic.

    Web Original 
  • Linkara's robot double Mechakara in Atop the Fourth Wall has a mechanical left hand. Which makes for an absolutely wonderful piece of foreshadowing later on.
  • Cracked.Com's 5 Physical Traits That Determine if a Character Is Evil. It even references this trope in the article, among others.
  • The Fear Mythos gives us "Jack of All," a man with a literal Red Right Hand. Interestingly, his appearance changes depending on who he's trying to strike a deal with, but his red hand remains a constant (though sometimes, he only wears a red glove over it, whereas other times it may be simply a red-colored human hand, and occasionally, he has a misshapen red claw)
  • Parodied by The Onion with Dr. Lester Mordock and his army of super-crabs.
    Commentator: You know, it's so inspiring the way he found success after that tragic military accident that left him using a robotic claw for a hand.

    Western Animation 
  • Mozenrath, a villain in Disney's Aladdin: The Series, wears a magic gauntlet that stripped away the skin and muscles of his hand leaving a skeletal hand that still continues to feel pain from the gauntlet. He's furious that Aladdin got "easy" power through his Genie, as opposed to the sacrifice he made and suffering he endures.
  • Alpha Teens on Machines: Mr. Lee, the team's benefactor, has Heterochromia. It's hard to tell with the tinted lenses he wears but whenever he has one of his more suspicious moments his hard stare exposes them before he adjusts his glasses to cover them up. When his true nature is revealed and he becomes the Big Bad he wears a different set of tinted lenses that highlight his different colored eyes which in turn add to his new demented Mad Scientist look.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Zuko's scar and hair are used to mark him as a bad guy. After turning good, he changes his hair to make his scar look less ugly. We also find out that he got the scar from his father as punishment for what was actually a Pet the Dog moment; the scar is actually proof that he is redeemable.
    • Azula, on the other hand, is obsessive about her personal appearance, and has perfectly manicured fingernails she sharpens into claws in the second season, before her arrival at Ba Sing Se.
    • Both Combustion Man's right forearm and lower leg are prosthetic. It's implied this is because he blew them off while learning to master his special firebending talent.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! has Baron Von Strucker of Hydra have a literal Red Right Hand, the Satan Claw, which makes him a Life Drinker. However, if the process is disrupted or the claw is destroyed soon after the process the victim has their Life Energy restored. Hawkeye destroys it but Von Strucker's appearance should show he is a Nazi Nobleman. Also, there is his Bald of Evil.
  • The Argentinian cartoon Las aventuras de Hijitus by Manuel García Ferré had a villain called "Dedo Negro" (Black Finger), a master of disguise easily who despite his uncanny ability to pass as other people, was identifiable by his black left index finger. One of his exploits included, with the help of Professor Neurus, to hammer all people's index fingers in the city of Trulalá (!) to render impossible the identification by this means. More information here.
  • In Birdman, every villain in the series shows a physical defect or tip-off to their monstrous nature except Hannibal the Hunter. Medusa was also a beautiful woman but had green skin.
  • Doctor Blight, one of the major Captain Planet villains was perfectly normal, even icily attractive... until she moved her fringe, and we saw that all the face around her left eye was hideously burned. All the other villains took this so far as to become grotesques (Verminous Skumm was literally a rat-man) - except for Zarm, who was a standard Evil Overlord, and Looten Plunder, who was a Smug Snake crossed with a Corrupt Corporate Executive, though the fact that his suit was trimmed with what appeared to be zebra skin might count as an eco-sensitive version of this trope.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • A one-shot villain, Queen Syrith, in the episode "Child of the Stargazer", had a literal red hand (it eventually turned out that an entire half of her body was like that, but her hand was her only visible deformity for most of the episode).
    • This is cleverly subverted in another episode. The heroes are warned by Dungeon Master that Venger will try to fool them but they can recognize him "by his white hare", implying that he has a Red Right Hand in the form of white hair. But note the spelling in the warning. Venger's disguise is actually bald, but he carries what they assume is a white rabbit; they don't realize that's what Dungeon Master had meant until it's almost too late.
  • Van Kleiss, Big Bad of Generator Rex, has a mechanical left hand that's made far creepier by the fact that its nails elongate into the syringes he uses to leech the nanites he needs to survive out of his victims.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983): Skeletor: He has a skull for a head, people.
    • In its spin-off, She-Ra: Princess of Power, one of the main villains was a sorceress named Shadow Weaver. She was actually a student (and, it seems, a rather pretty one) who was tempted by the Horde to receive the power of an ancient crystal. It was destroyed after she absorbed one-third of the power, which turned out to be enough for... well, she shows one potential student a glimpse of her face, and it's a Take Our Word for It scene.
  • Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget. He uses it to pet his Right-Hand Cat.
  • Most of the villains and villainesses in Jacob Two-Two have poor dental hygiene and off-white eyes. Those that don't are unbearably clean smug snakes.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Heloise has a scar on her forehead. According to Edward Kay, it's largely a design choice to make her look twisted.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Shego has a greenish cast to her skin and hair and can shoot green plasma from her hands. (Originally this was written as being due to gloves, but they turned out to be her own powers.)
    • Drakken has pale blue skin as well, but he can't shoot anything out of his hands. Apparently, he's blue simply because he is evil, as in one episode he and Ron switch moralities through a machine (don't ask) and Ron turns blue while Drakken looks like a normal person for once.
    • Monkey Fist's surgically attached monkey hands and feet.
    • Sheldon "Gemini" Director has a prosthetic hand that launches miniature missiles.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • King Sombra. He would look like a fairly unremarkable gray unicorn if not for a deformed red horn that looks like it's been melted and seared into a point. He's also lacking a cutie mark.
    • The changelings. If the completely black skin and fangs weren't enough of an indicator, there's also their insect wings and empty holes passing through their legs.
  • In an episode of Ozzy & Drix, an allergen serving as the Monster of the Week had two thumbs.
  • The first season of Pound Puppies (1980s) featured a minor recurring villain named Captain Slaughter, his most distinguishing trait being that his right hand was a huge robotic prosthetic.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, a cigarette company executive has horns which he tries to pass off as a football injury. He also occasionally turns into a gigantic red devil.
  • Steven Universe: All of the Gems have their gemstone located somewhere on their bodies with that location often hinting at their personalities. Some of the nastier gems have gemstone replacing their facial features, including their nose (Jasper) or eye (Eyeball, Squaridot).
  • Grune, one of the villains from Thunder Cats and ThunderCats (2011), has only one fang, which is notable, since he's a saber-toothed cat. In the newer series, it's shown how he lost the other one: faced with certain death at the hands of a giant spider, Grune ripped his own fang out to use as a knife.
  • The Tick: Chairface Chippendale, foe of the Tick, and his speech to his cohorts about their various deformities uniting them in evil.
  • Megatron of Transformers: Prime had his doctor replace his right arm with one recovered from a dead Prime to grant him said Prime's power. Fittingly, the new limb just happens to be mostly red.
    • Megatron is also shown in Prime to at one point have blue eyes during a flashback to his one-time friendship with Orion Pax, and showed them turning red when his attempt to have the council name him as the next Prime didn't work. Indicated to be true of all Decepticons. Similarly, the G1 cartoon depicted almost all Decepticons as having red eyes and all Autobots as having blue eyes. During one episode in which the Autobots minds are briefly altered by Megatron, their eyes turn red, in a cross between this and Red Eyes, Take Warning. There were occasional exceptions to the rule on both sides in the cartoon, but generally, if you saw red eyes on a Cybertronian, you could safely assume them to be a Decepticon. The comics tend to avert this in all forms, though IDW and Dreamwave's various Transformers books tend to follow the rule set down by Generation One's animated series, although as Characterization Marches On, some Cybertronians have been shown with different eye colors and even the Decepticons themselves are no longer purely evil, even if their eyes are still predominantly red.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • Phantom Limb has both arms turned into invisible glowy dispensers of death. His legs, too. And "something else" that The Alchemist decided to keep at the end of season 2.
    • Baron Ünderbheit has a prosthetic iron jaw and hideous grey skin.
    • Minor villain Scaramantula has a scar or birthmark shaped like a spider on his face and eight fingers on one hand. Brainulo (a hyper-intelligent time traveller from the future) has a grotesquely swollen, bald head covered in little blinking lights. Even the Monarch, while otherwise normal-looking and even handsome, has long antenna-like eyebrows.
    • While not visual, Dark Mistress Doctor Girlfriend has a man's voice. It's a smoker's voice, technically.
    • Spoofed in the episode "Now Museum, Now You Don't", where, in a flashback, Scaramantula assembles a Fraternity of Torment of villains who were spurned by society due to their deformity. Dr. Venture Sr. infiltrates them disguised as a stereotypical Chinese/Japanese villain with a supernumerary nipple (on his chin).
  • Blackwolf, the scenery-chewing villain of Ralph Bakshi's 1970s sword-n-sorcery opus Wizards, takes this to such an extreme that he is almost The Grotesque. His skin is grey, his eyes are blood red and glow in the dark, and — inexplicably — both his arms are bare bones between wrist and mid-bicep.
  • In World of Winx, Jim, a mysterious young man involved in the abductions of young talented people, wears a glove on his left hand. He is in fact, a rejuvenated Captain Hook.

  • The A Sinister Clue trope, i.e. "left-handed/sided = evil". Sinister comes from the Latin word for "left", and "dextrous" from the word for "right" in all senses. Possibly related to two things: first, the old-fashioned rule-of-thumb hygiene standards that are still used in modern strict Islamic regions: left hands are for wiping, and second, the handshake. While today we clasp and shake hands, the tradition in older civilisations was to grasp the forearm of the person you were greeting and vice-versa, which demonstrated that there really was Nothing Up My Sleeve to both parties. Unless, of course, one of those parties was left-handed, in which case they could be concealing a weapon there. That, or the other person could think they're using the left hand because they are right-handed and have something in that sleeve.
  • Asian superstitions say that the aswang, a vampire-like demon, can be recognized in human form by the lack of the crease between nose and mouth, and an inverted reflection in their eyes.
  • The French word vilain, as an adjective, means "ugly". As a noun, it can mean, loosely, "bad boy". It descends from the same Medieval Latin root as the English word Villain - villanus, which means... Farmhandnote .

Alternative Title(s): Right Red Hand


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